O potash tree, o potash tree

Rather out of season but here is a small forest of fir trees, once a major source of potash. Grown predominantly in the Baltic states Poland and Russia, the wood of these trees was burned in trenches and the resulting ash dissolved in boiling water. The liquor was then evaporated in copper pots (hence pot-ash)Continue reading “O potash tree, o potash tree”

Green grows the grass

Our lives depend on the magnesium ion at the centre of the chlorophyll pigment that gives leafy plants their green colour. Without chlorophyll’s ability to absorb photons, plants would not have the chemical energy needed to synthesis sugars from carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is fundamental to life on earth, supplying most of the necessary energy andContinue reading “Green grows the grass”